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How Does Web Hosting Work?

If you want to launch a website and render it visible to the whole world, it needs to be hosted on a hosting server. This service is called hosting.

Host your site at home or in another place

You could host your site on your own personal computer at home or at work, on a computer which belongs to an acquaintance of yours, etc. If it is a website for experimenting purposes, there would be no real reason for you to discover a more stable website hosting solution than that. If you would like to create an actual website, however, which will be visible to multiple viewers and you want to make it dependable, you will also need a reliable server where you will host it.

Why do you need a server for your site?

When you have a site, it is hosted on a physical server. That physical machine has its own physical address known also as IP address. Writing the IP of the physical machine in your browser's address bar, however, is not the best and easiest way to open a web site. That is how and why domain names came into existence and why you need one for your website. Thus, to launch your site, you need your own personal domain name and a web hosting server to host your site on.

Hosting your site yourself

If you are an Information Technology expert and know how to cope with a web server, you can have a web hosting server of your own and host your site on it. This will permit you to exert complete control over the machine, to implement server configuration changes and to install software updates yourself rather than having to rely on the data center personnel. The weakness, though, is that you will need to ensure the visibility of you site and to deal with all server maintenance procedures yourself. If you are making use of a licensed OS, you will also have to pay for the license, which is usually more costly if bought for a whole web server.

Using a hosting supplier

If you don't want to carry out server maintenance procedures, the most relevant step to take is to register an account with a hosting supplier. These are firms that offer clients powerful web hosting servers with different hardware configurations in exchange for a given fee. The servers are situated in datacenters with special cooling and backup power supply systems to ensure continuous Internet connectivity.

Budget Value Plus Exclusive
Price Per Month $7.95
per month
per month
per month
per month
Web Content Space Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Network Traffic Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Hosted Domains 1 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Node.js Optional Optional Optional Optional
Memcached Optional Optional Optional Optional

Kinds of hosting services

The Internet is a deep ocean and there are numerous web hosts offering different web hosting services to the multitude of web site proprietors out there. The web hosting services range from free web hosting services, where you can host simple, HTML-based websites, to expensive dedicated server hosting services that can drain your resources. So, what hosting type satisfies your demands?

If you possess a small or average-sized web site that has several hundred guests max, you could safely avail of a shared web hosting solution. Shared web hosting suggests that many hosting user accounts and web sites are accommodated on the very same web hosting server, thus slashing the price of the web hosting service. Shared web hosting accounts typically have CPU, RAM memory, web traffic and hosting server disk drive storage space quotas to ensure that the sites hosted on the web server do not interfere with each other and do not use more system resources than they are apportioned.

If your site is busier, you should choose a virtual web server hosting solution, which is the middle ground between the shared hosting solution and the dedicated server web hosting solution. VPS stands for Virtual Private Server. It offers full root-level access, which allows you to make server configuration changes - something that would be inconceivable on a shared hosting web server. The virtual web servers also offer burstable RAM options. Separate RAM memory and CPU shares are assigned to each individual VPS web hosting server, without anyone else using them. Usually there are other private virtual hosting servers aside from yours that make use of the system resources of the physical server, which could at times affect the overall performance, but in most instances it's of no concern. Should the system resources of the virtual hosting server, though, be inadequate for your needs, it is obviously time to move to a dedicated hosting web server.

The dedicated web server is a physical server that you rent, which is used just by you for your very own personal web site needs. No one else shares its resources and you are given full root access, can choose a hardware architecture in advance, apply updates later on and install RAM or hard drives. Unlike with the VPS web hosting servers where virtualization is mainly at the OS level and all virtual containers share a single kernel, with a dedicated web server you can update the kernel of the OS (usually Linux-based) as well.

Choose your hosting provider

If you have a notion of what your web site is going to include, or if you have only a loose plan that has not fully matured yet, your initial step towards the creation of your site should be to pick a web hosting supplier. The wisest step to take is to find a host that offers an extensive range of web site hosting services so that you do not have to change web hosts in case you first use a shared web hosting solution and then outgrow the shared hosting resources and have to upgrade to a virtual server solution or a dedicated server solution. My own personal favorite is NTCHosting, which offers cheap shared web site hosting packages, affordably priced OpenVZ and Virtuozzo-based private virtual servers, semi-dedicated server hosting plans with their own Control Panel and even dedicated web hosting servers. I am rather pleased with all their offers, because they all come with free gifts - the shared web site hosting plans come with a charge-free domain if they are paid for on an annual basis, the more advanced private virtual hosting server packages and dedicated web server packages include a charge-free domain name reseller account and invoicing software should you wish to utilize them for reselling purposes. Add the first-rate 24x7 support service and you have all you would typically require. You could, by all means, find other hosting providers depending on what exactly you are looking for, by conducting an online survey or by checking different web hosting reviews online. The most reasonable choice, however, is a hosting solutions provider that is also a domain registrar and has servers in more than one country - both requirements satisfied by NTCHosting, which has web hosting servers in the United States, in the UK, in Scandinavia and in Australia, and offers a myriad of domain extensions for registration.